Vodafone highlights network speed in pre-emptive iPhone strike

LONDON - Vodafone looks set to base its 2010 iPhone launch campaign around the higher download speeds of its network compared to its competitors Orange and O2.

Email newsletters have been sent to anyone who registered an interest in the Vodafone iPhone claiming tests prove its video download speed is significantly higher than the other two networks.

Vodafone’s iPhone launch is not set to occur until next year, however it has good reason to get a hit in early. Orange announced it had sold 30,000 units of the handset yesterday, the first day it was available.

If Vodafone is planning to use this strategy over price cuts it may well find consumers are prepared to listen. Despite the capabilities of the iPhone its ability of the networks to deliver them effectively has become a matter of concern especially in London where there is the highest concentration of iPhone users.

O2’s, which signed exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in 2007, has been a victim of its own success as it admitted last month that its London network was stretched to the limit as a result of iPhone usage.

Vodafone’s iPhone campaign kicks off as the company announced plans to make £1bn savings over the next two years. It said the cuts will come in from operational restructuring rather than job cuts.

The company aims to use half of this to ease falling prices and regulatory charges with the rest going towards investment.

In its results for the six months preceding September 30 Vodafone revealed its revenue growth had fallen 3% to £21.8bn. It blamed the fall on competition in the Indian market where it holds 51% but prices declined by 15%.

It is set to put smartphone usage at the centre of it brand communications strategy. In September Vodafone chief executive Victor Colao announced its new strapline ‘Power to you’ would spearhead this move.